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Grand Slam By Krumeich Powers Cougars To Diamond Win
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Cougar pitchers threw strikes and their defense played solidly behind them, leading to a 6-0 victory in the only game of the week for the varsity baseball tam.

The Cougars hosted a tournament game in the Modesto Christian Tournament on Thursday, then saw the schedule rained out Friday and fields in the tournament locations - Escalon, Ripon and Modesto - not recovered enough on Saturday to get the rest of the tournament games in.

"With Friday's rain, everything was supposed to get pushed back to Saturday but the fields weren't great and the head of officials called Modesto Christian and said they didn't have enough umpires," varsity coach Greg Largent explained. "They said we could try to get our second round game in but our field is very, very wet, we had some standing water."

Escalon was slated to play Linden in the Saturday second round game but Largent said officials there agreed to call it off, in part because the two teams were slated to meet Tuesday, March 8 anyway and to give the baseball players a chance to go to Arco Arena on Saturday and root on the basketball team.

"They were real cordial about it, they said 'go up there and have some fun'," Largent said of the Linden coaches.

In the one game they did play in the washed out tournament, the Cougars knocked off Redwood Christian of San Leandro in the Thursday afternoon contest.

"We got off to an early start," said Largent. "Jordan Ramirez walked, Phil Parrish reached on an error, Ross Brayton reached on an error, then Pete Krumeich followed after one out with a grand slam, we got a four-spot in the first inning."

It looked as though that would be plenty of run support, as Krumeich was solid on the mound as well. But the varsity batmen added two more runs for insurance in the fifth inning.

Colin Riggs singled, Ramirez reached on an error and Parrish rapped out a single to drive in Riggs. Then with Ramirez at third and Parrish at first, the Cougars pulled off the delayed double steal. Parrish broke from first and once the catcher threw to try and get him, Ramirez stole home.

Krumeich went four strong innings for the Cougars, striking out six, walking one and allowing two hits, no runs. Parrish came on and finished up, throwing three scoreless innings. He allowed two hits, struck out three and walked one.

Redwood Christian had three errors on the day, Escalon had five hits and one error. Along with the Krumeich grand slam, Riggs and Parrish each singled and Justin Chandley had a single and a double.

"I was really pleased," admitted Largent of the initial outing for the season. "Pitchers threw strikes and let the defense do the work behind them."

The varsity baseball team is still without a half dozen players, all coming from the basketball team.

With good weather in the forecast this week, the boys are scheduled to host Grace Davis at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10 as part of the Manteca Tournament.